In order to achieve its goal of becoming a world leader in sports betting and gaming entertainment, Entain has a clear strategy across two broad pillars: sustainability and growth.

These two pillars are complementary: Entain firmly believes that the most sustainable business in the industry will be the most successful business in the industry.

Entain understands that ensuring the highest possible levels of player safety and protection is the best way of guaranteeing the company’s long-term success. It is why it is seeking a gaming revolution under the ‘Changing for the Bettor’ campaign, a global strategy for safer and more responsible betting and gaming. The strategy, which sets out Entain’s aim to become the safest betting operator, is based on seven core pillars:

  1. Understanding the problem and best solutions
  2. Educating our key stakeholders
  3. Promoting responsible attitudes
  4. Empowering customers
  5. Funding treatment for those in need
  6. Championing responsible product design
  7. Driving cultural change within our business

Building on this is Entain’s new Sustainability Charter, which is based around five cornerstones, one of which is a commitment to “continue to take the lead on responsible betting and gaming”.

Aided by its technology, which enables Entain to continuously upgrade and personalise its protections for customers, the company has made further progress on its Sustainability Charter commitment by completing the initial stage of its Advanced Responsibility & Care (“ARC”) programme , which utilises scientific analysis of player behaviour to inform the enhancement of consumer protections.

For several years Entain has been identifying players who may be at risk, through a number of behavioural markers, such as frequency of play, changes in spend patterns and length of time of online play. With the completion of the initial stage of ARC, the company has significantly extended the behavioural indicators used to identify players potentially at risk and is now developing models using more than three times the previous number.

Data scientists at the company are now building models to test the extended range of new behavioural indicators in real situations, seeking to identify customers who may show signs of potential problems. Eventually, Entain hopes to offer every customer both a personalised playing experience and protection tailored to their individual risk profile.

As part of this, Entain will proactively implement a number of additional checks on customers at various thresholds in the customer journey. Powered by proprietary technology, which enables all the touchpoints between Entain and its customers to be monitored, ARC will also provide improved interventions to further enhance player protection.

The ARC initiative is supported by input from a number of other authorities, all being fed in through ‘roundtable’ discussions on the evidence around the signs of problematic play.

  • To add rigour, discipline, objectivity and accountability to this process, Entain was delighted to welcome Professor Mark Griffiths, a leading academic specialising in online addiction as a consultant to the company. He is contributing his expertise to the design and development of the new ARC system. Professor Griffiths specialises in online addiction and will advise on further enhancing player protection and technological initiatives to advance safer play. Drawing on academic and scientific experience gained over more than 30 years studying online behaviours and addiction, he will review Entain’s existing policies and systems and propose improvements based on evidence, with measurable metrics and performance indicators.
  • Entain’s existing multi-million-dollar work with Harvard Medical School Faculty, Division on Addiction is drawing upon their vast knowledge in this area to support a greater understanding of problem betting and gaming issues.
  • EPIC Risk Management, which exists to help organisations prevent gambling-related harm, is providing a lived experience element to ARC. Its team contains a number of reformed problem gamblers, who present and utilise their unparalleled first-hand experiences to educate people, and their expertise is being fed in too.

Combining the work of all of these authorities with Entain’s exceptional technological know-how will help to build on the company’s industry leading work in this area, which led to it being awarded Safer Gambling Operator of the Year at EGR’s Operator Awards 2020 and Socially Responsible Sportsbook of the Year at the SBC awards 2020.

In addition, Entain has recently announced a partnership in the US with Conscious Gaming, a philanthropic organisation, under which the company will become the first official partner of PlayPause, a newly launched multi-state responsible betting and gaming tool. The US partnership with PlayPause follows recent partnerships in the UK with Future Anthem and Mindway AI, whose specialist expertise in neuroscientific and academic based algorithmic learnings will further inform Entain’s work on player protection.

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Professor Mark Profile

Professor Mark Griffiths CV 1987 – First Class Honours degree (BSc. Psychology) from the University of Bradford 1990 - PhD in Psychology at the University of Exeter 1990-1995 - Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Plymouth 1995 – Moved to Nottingham Trent University 2002 - Awarded Professorship 2006 - Awarded the British Psychological Society’s highest teaching honour (‘Excellence in Teaching of Psychology Award’)

Professor Mark Q&A

Why have you chosen to work with Entain? 

I only work with betting and gaming companies who are committed to safer play. Moreover, the company’s technology provides an unprecedented opportunity to help deliver innovative technological advances supported by evidential scientific research to improve player protection

What do you hope to achieve in your time with Entain?

I plan to apply the understanding and specialist expertise built over a long career in psychology to reduce the risks of problem play.

Why should betting and gaming companies care about safer betting and gaming metrics?

Providing a consumptive product, betting and gaming companies will inevitably have a small number of people who have problems as a result of that product, but the aim is to minimise it as far as possible.

Quite apart from the fact that it’s the right thing to do, as a company you want customers to stay with you for as long as possible. It might surprise you, but the time a problem gambler spends as a customer is usually very short. If you have player protection which minimises problem betting and gaming, then you have will have a more sustainable industry in the longer run.

I plan to apply the understanding and specialist expertise built over a long career in psychology to reduce the risks of problem play